Illyus & Barrientos are the odd couple of Glaswegian dance music. Brought together by Glasgow Underground’s Kevin McKay, their disparate backgrounds (one was growing up in the local hip-hop scene while the other was still taking classical piano lessons) make them unlikely partners. Put them in a studio, though, and they have a knack for whipping up the kind of unashamedly big, floor-filling modern house tunes that have propelled them to somewhat dizzying levels of acclaim.
Their first two releases, Do Anything You Wanna (Glasgow Underground) and Ballin’ (Love & Other), proved that McKay’s intuition was correct: they gained instant support from tastemakers like Skream, Gorgon City, Groove Armada and Pete Tong. Their first major remix – Gorgon City’s Go All Night was followed by their Need Me EP on Glasgow Underground. This caught the attention of Annie Mac & Pete Tong, which led to coming up with one of the mini mixes of 2015 as well as an BBC Radio 1 Afterhours mix. A string of high-profile remixes followed for the likes of MK, Lovebirds and Above & Beyond. Gigs at Space Ibiza, Ministry of Sound, XOYO, The Arches and Boardmasters Festival have cemented their status as one of the hottest duos in Scotland right now.
The guys have had a number of huge releases on Suara, Toolroom, Exploited Records, Glasgow Underground and Circus Recordings, plus a guest mix for the legendary Annie Nightingale and Monki on BBC Radio 1. Their latest single on Toolroom, gained huge support from Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Danny Howard, and has been tipped as an "Ibiza Anthem". Now with more tracks and remixes – and bigger parties – in the pipeline, you get the feeling that things are only going to get more exciting.